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Kurdistan Showdown
By Ilan Berman, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2007
 

You have to feel sorry for David Petraeus. The commander of the multinational force in Iraq already has his hands full overseeing the "surge." Now he needs to deal with another, equally pressing problem. According to Iraqi officials, Turkey has mobilized some 140,000 soldiers along its common border with Iraq, in a maneuver that many see as a prelude to some sort of military confrontation between the two countries.

 
Signs of Iranian Troublemaking Are Everywhere
By Ilan Berman, Human Events, July 9, 2007
 

Just what does Iran have to do in order to get the attention of the United States? That question must be on the minds of officials in Tehran these days. After all, their regime has embarked upon an audacious -- and very public -- strategic offensive throughout the greater Middle East. But officials in Washington, preoccupied with flagging poll numbers and the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, don't seem to be taking notice.
 

 
Pakistan Teeters
By Jeff Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2007
 

With the Taliban on the march, its cities paralyzed by demonstrations and its president targeted four times for assassination, Pakistan is facing its most severe crisis since the 1999 coup that brought Gen. Pervez Musharraf to power. Over the past few months, surging Islamic extremism and widespread political unrest have erupted into violence, undermining the government's authority. Now, with elections on the horizon and the general's heavy-handed tactics aggravating tensions, Washington is being forced to reexamine one of its most critical and controversial alliances in the war on terror.

 
The Next Challenge For Turkish-American Ties: Iran
By Ilan Berman, Turkish Daily News, June 4, 2007
 

Ever since the Turkish parliament's fateful decision to deny the United States a northern front against Saddam Hussein's regime back in early 2003, Iraq has emerged as the defining foreign policy issue between Washington and Ankara. But now, a different—and potentially even more serious—challenge to strategic ties looms on the horizon.

 
Why Tehran Wants The Bomb
By Ilan Berman, The American Spectator, June 1, 2007
 

In late February, just days after the expiration of yet another United Nations deadline, and with the UN Security Council gearing up to deliberate new punitive measures, Iran's firebrand president issued a defiant public statement. The Iranian nuclear program "is without brakes and a rear gear," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told religious leaders in Tehran in comments carried nationwide by state radio. "We dismantled the rear gear and brakes of the train and threw them away some time ago." The demarche was emblematic of the deepening crisis that has beset the international community since the fall of 2002, when a controversial opposition group disclosed previously unknown details about Iran's nuclear program. Since then, it has become abundantly clear that the Iranian regime is not simply developing a nuclear program for "peaceful purposes," as its officials stubbornly claim. Rather, mounting evidence indicates that the Islamic Republic is embarked upon a comprehensive, multi-faceted national endeavor to develop a nuclear arsenal—and that it is making serious progress towards that goal, in spite of international pressure.

 
Iran Takes Prisoners
By Ilan Berman, National Review Online, May 29, 2007
 

A conservative, the old adage goes, is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Today, nowhere is this saying more apt than in the case of proponents of U.S.-Iranian “dialogue,” who are getting a harsh dose of reality about the true intentions of the ayatollahs in Tehran. Just ahead of yesterday’s planned U.S.-Iranian meeting to discuss Iraq, the Islamic Republic has launched a vicious crackdown on Iranian-American scholars and activists. The most high-profile victim of this offensive is Haleh Esfandiari, the head of the Middle East program at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was rounded up May 8 on charges of trying to foment a “soft revolution” against the Iranian regime. Ever since, she has languished in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, in spite of public entreaties for her release from prominent policymakers and senior statesmen.
 

 
Iran Gives Europe A Wake-Up Call
By Ilan Berman, Baltimore Sun, April 18, 2007
 

By now, the nearly two-week-long hostage crisis prompted by Iran's brazen seizure of 15 British sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf in late March is beginning to fade from public memory. But the incident has provided the West with an important glimpse into Iranian strategy - and an unprecedented opportunity for a reinvigorated transatlantic consensus about confronting the Islamic Republic. From the start, Iran's ayatollahs used the well-orchestrated seizure as a flagrant piece of political theater. The goal? To signal their regime's resolve in the deepening crisis over its nuclear program. The message - coming just days after the U.N. Security Council's passage of a second round of sanctions on Iran for its unauthorized nuclear work - was unmistakable: The Iranian regime is ready and willing to fight for its atomic effort.

 
Detente With Tehran?
By Ilan Berman, Washington Times, April 9, 2007
 
 
The Death of Democracy Promotion?
By Ilan Berman, The Journal of International Security Affairs, March 15, 2007
 

What a difference a few years can make. In September 2002, less than a year after taking office, the Bush administration laid out a breathtakingly ambitious vision of American foreign policy. “The United States possesses unprecedented—and unequaled—strength and influence in the world,” the newly-released National Security Strategy of the United States proudly proclaimed. “Sustained by faith in the principles of liberty, and the value of a free society, this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations, and opportunity. The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom.” But less than five years later, that vision appears to be in full strategic retreat.

 
Reinvigorating Intelligence
By John Wobensmith and Jeff Smith, The Journal of International Security Affairs, March 15, 2007
 

Five-and-a-half years after September 11th, the United States finally appears to have acknowledged the necessity of effective intelligence to its national security in the 21st century. The Bush administration, inheritor of a deeply flawed institution at its inauguration, was forced to confront this reality after a string of intelligence failures and foreign policy setbacks that culminated in the Iraq war.

President Bush managed to harness momentum from the disaster of 9/11 to institute the most extensive overhaul of American intelligence in decades. Yet, in true Washington form, time, attention and effort is not necessarily an indicator of success. Indeed, the Bush administration’s victories have been too few and far between, and its agenda for reform too susceptible to stalling or reversal. Momentum toward transformation likewise has been tempered by competing political interests and the inertia of Congress. The resulting track record has been mixed; the task incomplete.